Europe could force Google to pay for news

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Similar laws introduced by Spain and Germany in the past resulted in Google News quitting Spain while Germany's biggest news publisher Axel Springer had to scrap a bid to block Google from running news snippets from its newspapers following a plunge in traffic.

More rifts have opened up in the European Parliament's negotiations over a contentious copyright law overhaul after a new MEP stepped in to lead on talks. Voss proposed that platforms be held liable for their users' copyright infringements and that the article apply to any platform that makes users' uploads publicly available, apart from Wikipedia and a few others, she said.

The approval of the EC proposal on upload filters brought praise from the Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA), which said the "strong and unambiguous message" clarified what the music industry has said for years: "If you are in the business of distributing music or other creative works, you need a licence, clear and simple".

They believe it will prevent companies, such as Google and Facebook, from "free-riding" on news publishers. As we've been discussing over the past few weeks, the EU Parliaments Legal Affairs Committee is about to vote on the EU Copyright Directive, that has some truly bad provisions in it - including Article 11's link tax and Article 13's mandatory filters.

"We urge all MEPs (members of parliament) to contest this report and to support balanced copyright rules, which respect online rights and support Europe's digital economy", CCIA's Maud Sacquet said.

Google's parent company Alphabet, which also owns Youtube, made more than $100bn in revenue past year, while Facebook made £40bn over the same period. However, most other companies are then totally fucked, because they simply can not comply in any reasonable manner.

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For copyrighted works, services like Google's YouTube already use technology that scans and identifies protected content that's uploaded.

"Google may say that if the license they get requires them to monitor links from their European users it could be an expense they don't want to take on".

"If we do the right things, we put in place our content ID systems and things like that, I don't think you need to regulate", Richard Allan, vice president for policy solutions at Facebook, told the parliament on Wednesday.

Academics have also come forward to express their concerns. Sharing of memes could be caught up in the new rules because they're often based on copyrighted images, they noted as an example.

The result of the July vote could be dramatic: if the house rejects the outcome from the JURI Committee, MEPs can open new negotiations to change measures in the legislation.

The European Commission, the bloc's executive body, proposed the regulations in 2016. Amendments to the rules include the length of publisher's right to content; parliament passed a rights period of five years, down from the original duration of 20 years.